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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Alexander Garden, 27 December 1765 n.s.
Dated 1768 d. 27 Decembr.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Charlestown (USA). Written in Latin.


Linnaeus has just received the characters of the new plant species and that of the strange animal, two-legged and with both gills and lungs [see Alexander GardenGarden, Alexander (1730-1791).
British/American. Doctor of medicine,
South Carolina. Correspondent of
to Linnaeus, 18 May 1765Letter L3591]. To Linnaeus, it seems to be a larva of a lizard, if it is not a very special genus that could be named Sirene. The animal will be published in the Acta of the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
], the society that has greeted Garden as a member.

On the plants, Linnaeus is not too happy since he has never dared to accept characters without seeing at least dried specimens of the species. He gives his tentative determinations on several of them, but of those that are new to him he needs to have dried specimens before giving his final words.

Garden will be cited very often in the Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
, which is being printed. It is a pity that Linnaeusís letters have been lost; Linnaeus asks Garden if he has received the one dated 19 May 1765 [that letter has not come down to us].

Linnaeus returns to the issue of the strange lizard, and he can not determine if it is a larva or a full-grown individual. However: It has two feet with nails, and it can produce a noise. Neither has Linnaeus seen external gills in larvae. So Linnaeus is inclined not to consider it a larva.

Through Ellis, Linnaeus will send Garden a copy of Systema naturae as soon as it is published.

All over Europe, works on insects are being published, in life-like colours. So many species have been discovered that science can not manage them.

George EdwardsEdwards, George (1693-1773).
British. Ornithologist and artist.
Visited the Netherlands, France and
Scandinavia. Best known for his
History of birds (1747-1751).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Mathurin Jacques BrissonBrisson, Mathurin Jacques
(1723-1806). French. Physicist and
geologist, professor in Paris.
have discovered and published many fine birds from North America [Linnaeus refers to the OrnithologiaBrisson, Mathurin Jacques
Ornithologia, sive synopsis methodica
sistens avium divisionem in ordines,
sectiones, genera, species, ipsarumque
varietates, etc. (Ornithologie, ou
Méthode contenant la division des
oiseaux en ordres, etc.)
6 vol. (
Paris 1760).
and A natural history of uncommon birdsEdwards, George A natural
history of uncommon birds, and of some
other rare and undescribed animals
[...]. To which is added a [... ]general
idea of drawing and painting in water
colours; with instructions for etching
on copper with Aqua Fortis: likewise
some thoughts on the passage of
etc., 4 pt., 4 vols. (London,
], so Linnaeus is very surprised at the richness of nature in that country.


1. Caroli Linnaei eq. literas XInas ad Alex. Gardenium (1829), p. 10-12 .